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Harbor Frieght Vertical Milling Machine

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  • #16
    The 6x26 weighs about twice as much so I would expect it to be the stronger of the two.
    The lead screw on mine has 8 TPI.
    The maximum table travel is 7 ¾ x 20.
    (There been a few time I would liked more then the 7 ¾”)
    The maximum distance from table top to collet is also 20”.

    This machine is made in Taiwan which seems to have a little better quality control then China. When it was brand new I measured less the ½ thousand difference at the extremes of the table travel. However do not be to surprised when the starting capacitor in the motor explodes, I rewired the motor to run on 220volts only to find the starting capacitor was rated for 110. Also on the hand wheels there was some flashing left over from their casting process, grinding this off was the only modification that I made aside from painting it green.


    • #17
      I really enjoyed my 6x26, it was a pleasant machine to use. The downside of it was the spindle to column distance was pretty short, and it was easy to run out of room under the spindle, especially when using a drill chuck with bit or a boring head. You can get a spacer to raise the head a little, but the spindle to column is something you are stuck with. But for smaller work, they are nice.


      • #18
        Have you looked at this mill?

        Same money,more daylight under the quill.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #19
          I have the enco version that is about 20 years old. It has 7/8 # 8 screw. It has .125 handdle revolution. It has worked well for me. If you get this one you'll want to buy or make the 5" riser for the column if your going to do any drilling with it. You run out of height pretty quick with chuck + drill + vise. Not alot of verticle adjustment but seems pretty solid


          • #20
            Just to clear up a thing that I have been wondering about:

            The size indication of a milling machine (e.g. 6X26), does it tell the length of travel in Y and X respectively?


            Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
            - Piet Hein


            • #21
              No, 6x26 is the size of the table. Depending on which one you get, travel is about 6" on the Y axis and 16" on the X, and the specs on most of them vary by an inch or so, depending on which way the round. This is just like your standard late model Bridgeport 9x42, which has about 12x24 in travel.


              • #22
                on 6x26 machines

                can the head move fore and back in what is the 'ram' direction on a bridgeport? This fore and back movement of the head seems to be the reason that necessitates a movable knee to position the table up and down. If the head doesn't move fore and back perhaps the RF-45 style where the head moves up and down rather than the table is the better design?


                • #23
                  No, but the head can tilt right and left. plus the quill does move like on a BP.


                  • #24
                    When I went to buy my new mill I was after the 6 x 26 model but when I got to the store it was sitting right beside an ZX 45 (RF 45) and I opted for it instead. A lot more travel on the table, a much bigger table, more distance from the table to spindle etc. I most respects, with some exceptions, it will out preform the 626 and is a fairly rigid machine for the capacity. The finish on work is also very good.

                    Why does it matter if the mill has a knee, the RF 45 type mill head moves up and down on dovetailed ways so it is just as versatile as the 626 in that respect.
                    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                    Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                    • #25
                      I have the HF 6x26 and am very pleased with it. I did rewire the machine and added a VFD (Just a twist of the knob to change speeds) I did this only because I already had the VFD. I have had issues with the small amount of space bettween the table and head when trying to use a large drill chuck. I just put the drill bit in a collet and this gives me enough room for most jobs. I really think that the HF and the grizzly machine is the same machine. I saw a grizzly when it was apart and it was painted red inside ( The same color that the HF is ) Grizzly does put some nicer looking handles on there machine. I would love to have a bigger machine if I had room, but so far this one has worked out great. If you buy the HF, the stand that I got made the machine about four inches to high for me, so a quick trip over to my buddys house and a few min. with a plasma cutter and the stand was four inchs shorter. Could have done it with a cut saw, but the plasma was much easier.
                      Last edited by mike82352; 10-29-2008, 11:47 PM.